It’s that time of year again: time to witness the majestic beauty of fields of blooming tulips, as only Keukenhof Park can present.
Located in Lisse, a half an hour out of Amsterdam, this tulip park is no hidden gem. While it may come as no surprise that every year Amsterdam welcomes approximately 15,749,000 visitors, Keukenhof Park eagerly opens its doors to around 800,000 tourists during the two short months that it’s open and bursting with floral life.
For many, the tulip is the true identifying of the Netherlands, which makes Keukenhof its vibrant centre. Historically rich, Keukenhof is situated on 15th century hunting grounds, which were also part of the Teylingen Castle estate for many centuries. Keukenhof literally translates to ‘Garden Kitchen’, a name attributed to the game hunted on its premises as food for the castle’s occupants.
Since those early days the gardens have remained largely the same until a redesign conducted by landscape architects Jan David Zocher and his son Louis Paul Zocher (who also designed Amsterdam’s Vondelpark) made the changes that still form the foundation of modern day Keukenhof.
With Keukenhof’s first bulb flower showcase taking place in 1949, the classic version of the slender tulip flower was undoubtedly the star of the show. Today this classic beauty can be spotted in all the colours of the rainbow as well as in unique variations ranging from the remarkable, to the strange and bizarre.
Creative landscape design and glorious indoor galleries see Keukenhof mould the tulip into living and breathing works of art. Covering an area of 32 hectares, these gardens present the rich and vibrant Dutch history of growing, all while providing the perfect backdrop for picnics and a flawless setting for simply getting lost.
Every year is themed. In 2016 the theme centred on, ‘The Golden Age’ - the era when Holland became rich through worldwide trade. This must-see spectacle was the flower bulb mosaic beside the Oranje Nassau Pavilion depicting trade across the seas and the quintessentially Dutch, canal-side houses of Amsterdam. In 2017, the theme is "Dutch Design".
While it’s easy to spend a day lounging around the glorious gardens and attractions, for the more adventurous there are a few things you can do to get your heart racing while in the area - like taking flight over fields of tulips! You can view the tulips in all their glory while flying through the air. These flights are conducted in cooperation with DDA Classic Airlines and provide breathtaking views that you just can have anywhere else. Take in sights of historic cities, windmills, canals and of course, tulips. There are limited flights and seats available so be sure to book early to secure your aerial view.
Sadly, as with all good things, this enchanting attraction doesn’t last forever and can only be experienced during a few short weeks, as the elusive tulip season only spans between the months of March and May.
Keukenhof gives travellers a unique experience rich in history, local cuisine, art and, of course, flowers. Lots of flowers. A cultural experience tied up in millions of pretty flowers, take a trip to Keukenhof and experience the majesty of 7 million blooming tulips and so much more.
As most people travelling to Keukenhof start from Amsterdam, one of the easiest and most economical ways to visit this tulip haven is by bus. From Amsterdam Centraal Station you can purchase a combi-ticket for €29.00, which acts as your bus ticket and your entrance ticket to Keukenhof. Buses depart 4 to 12 times an hour and once on board it will take just half an hour before you’re taking in the fields of colourful tulips.
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